Should You Even Bother Your Insurance Company After a Minor Accident?
We’ve all experienced this or seen it happen and understand when people don’t want to contact their insurance company after a minor collision. Most minor collisions that don’t involve any property damage and sometimes no one even got hurt. We’re talking about the collisions that happen in parking lots or when you’re backing out of your driveway and accidentally nod your neighbor’s parked car.
When referring to a minor accident we’re not only talking about very low speed accidents, but we’re talking about very low impact accidents. This is something that your insurance company, a responding police officer, and yourself would all consider a minor collision. So, when should you contact your insurance company? Unfortunately, it’s not the answer that many drivers hope for. You should always contact your insurance company.
Notifying Your Insurance Company
Many people aren’t aware of the tiny details and nuances that are in their car insurance policy agreement contract. In that agreement, as a driver and the owner of the vehicle or the primary operator of the vehicle, you agree to certain terms in exchange for their coverage. Now those terms include the well-known pay your bill on time statement, but they’re also small details such as reporting every collision.
Unsure if you don’t notify your insurance provider of a crash and say you’re not major accident later if they find out about that first crash they could drop your coverage. In fact, if the other driver reports the accident and you don’t they could drop your coverage. Now, most insurance providers don’t drop coverage if the accident is genuinely minor. If there were no injuries and the property damage was, say, less than $500, then it’s not much to worry about. But you never know if that other driver or one of the passengers in their car is going to claim that the accident was much larger than it was. Or, if they’re going to attempt to say you were at fault in an effort to avoid having the finger pointed at them.
To ensure that you don’t take any risks with your insurance coverage or your ability to move forward with legal action if it’s necessary, notify your provider after every crash. That means notifying them after a minor accident that resulted in no property damage and notifying them of single vehicle accidents where you don’t intend to repair the vehicle or make a claim. You don’t always have to open a claim, you can simply call and say that something happened and you’re notifying them and you don’t want to move forward with a claim at this time.
How Bad Was the Damage?
North Carolina has two requirements on filing Auto reports and making claims between the two parties. The first is that if there were any injuries involved, you must file an accident report and that accident report will go to the associated person’s insurance companies. This happens because the insurance companies work closely with the North Carolina Department of Transportation and local police departments hand off those accident reports to the Department of Transportation.
So how bad does the damage have to be? $1,000 is the minimum. If damage exceeds $1,000, then you must make an accident report, contact the DMV, and your insurance provider. This is a state law, but it still doesn’t mean that you have to go through your insurance provider and make a claim. Now, if the other driver is making a claim, then a claim is open and it will go through and you might as well file your own claim to get compensation for your damages.
Will You Need Legal Help? — North Carolina Car Accidents
There are times that even with minor accidents you might need legal help to resolve the issues. As we mentioned earlier, some drivers are quick to put the other person at fault because they know they were responsible for the crash and that salt is a big issue in crash resolution. Other drivers may lure you into the idea of just not reporting the accident together and then turn around and report the accident later.
It is always best to follow a North Carolina car accident law to a T and not take chances about what the other driver may or may not do. If you exchanged information and there was any type of property damage than it is worth, at least notifying your insurance provider of the incident. That doesn’t mean you have to take immediate legal action. If you do need to take legal action, then contact North Carolina car accident for more information.
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